World Economy

Europe Stocks Wary, Asia Up

Europe Stocks Wary, Asia UpEurope Stocks Wary, Asia Up

European stocks fluctuated Monday as investors were skeptical that Greece and its European creditors would find a quick deal to solve the country’s debt problems. Asian stocks, however, closed higher after Japan emerged from recession.

Germany’s DAX was down 0.3 percent at 10,934.08 and France’s CAC 40 was flat at 4,758.44. Britain’s FTSE 100 inched down 0.2 percent to 6,860.33. In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 jumped 0.5 percent to 18,004.77 and the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.6 percent to 3,222.36. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2 percent to 24,726.50. Sydney and Seoul also rose. Wall Street is closed for a public holiday, AP reported.

Eurozone finance ministers meet Monday to consider Greece’s proposal for short-term “bridge financing” without the onerous terms previously imposed on the country until a longer-term solution to Greece’s crushing debt is found. Investors hope an agreement will be reached to avoid Greece’s exit from the euro. Germany’s finance minister on Monday said a quick deal on Monday is unlikely. That pushed Athens’ stock index down 4 percent.

  Japan Rebound

Asia was buoyed by news Japan emerged from recession last quarter, even though growth fell short of many forecasters’ expectations. Data on Monday showed the world’s third-largest economy grew at a 2.2 percent annualized rate in the three months ending in October, boosted by exports and public spending. Growth for 2014 was flat and real wages fell 0.1 percent. Private investment was anemic, suggesting that businesses and households still are cautious. Japan’s economy slipped into recession last year after the government increased sales tax in April.

China stocks recorded their sixth straight session of gains in thin trading on Monday, as expectations of further government stimulus were reinforced by weak economic data ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

Data published late on Friday showed that China’s January growth in broad money slumped to a record low of 10.8 percent, strengthening hopes that further loosening in monetary policies is imminent.

Among the most active stocks in Shanghai were China United Network Communications Ltd, up 10.1 percent to 5.34 yuan; Bank Of China, down 0.5 percent to 4.09 yuan andChina Shipbuilding Industry Co Ltd, up 2.1 percent to 8.79 yuan.

Energy: US benchmark crude was up 23 cents at $53.01 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.57 on Friday to close at $52.78.

Currencies: The dollar dropped to 118.57 yen from 118.76 yen late Friday. The euro rose to $1.1416 from $1.1390.